Look It Up

When baseball's Seattle Pilots moved east to Milwaukee in 1970, new owner Bud Selig wanted to do something to distinguish their new identity. His advisors presented an idea: The team was to be called the Brewers, so why not make beer? And so was born Brewer's Best, the only microbrewery ever to be fully owned and operated by a Major League franchise. Brewer's Best Lager and Brewer's Pale Ale were to be the flagship brands, with Brewer's Amber Harvest and Milwaukee Stout catering to aficionados.

Then there was Brewer's .300 Ale.

A discount beer, .300 Ale was intended for rural markets. "Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, just a .300 hitter" went the slogan. (The Brewers themselves, of course, had no .300 hitters, and wouldn't until George Scott barely passed the mark in 1973.) The four premium brands faltered, but .300 Ale became an immediate hit on college campuses and at high school parties, selling at corner stores and supermarkets until 1978.

Many who came of age in 70's Wisconsin remember the beer fondly—today, .300 Ale neon bar lights sell for as much as $100 on eBay. Selig and his advisors never understood why the other beers failed, but industry experts agree it probably had something to do with the fact that they all tasted like bat piss.